While there are a few retailers out there, like Nordstrom's, that follow the "one holiday at a time" rule, the majority of stores, with tons of holiday-shopping fever, will start playing Christmas tunes rather soon (if they haven't already). So even though it is barely Halloween and there is still more than a month until Black Friday, the big sale announcements are rapidly approaching and in a few cases, some circulars -- like hardware store chain Harbor Freight's -- have already been leaked.
As reported by Daily Finance, interest in Black Friday may be waning. According to Accenture's holiday shopping survey, out of the 500 consumers polled, 57% plan to wait and shop later in the season.
But for those who do plan to head to the stores on Black Friday, ConsumerSearch editors have analyzed the market trends and hot product categories to come up with some of their expert predictions on what the best deals (and duds) will be for this year's post-Turkey shopping spectacular.
Deals on TVs
It's not much of a secret that 2011 has been an absolutely awful year for TV sales. There's a lot of unsold inventory around, so, according to our electronics editor, Carol Laron, it's safe to assume that some pretty tempting deals are in the offing for Black Friday. High-end TVs usually see only modest discounting, and that's not too likely to change this year, but mid-level performers, especially 3D models, may see some significant price cuts -- some are saying as much as 50 percent -- or be bundled with attractive and useful extras such as 3D glasses and 3D Blu-ray players at their lowest prices to date.
As far as budget shoppers looking to get as much TV for as little money as possible, lots of deals will be found. Last year, Target set the mark with a 40-inch Westinghouse LCD TV at $300. This year, that kind of pricing should be more commonplace, with even top-tier makers like Samsung, LG or Sony getting into the action, albeit with sets that are light on features and maybe at the bottom of those maker's performance spectrum. To see which televisions get the highest marks, see our reports on the best.
Finally, that elusive sub-$50 Blu-ray player will finally be found -- and likely be commonplace -- on Black Friday. More interestingly, Laron expects some more capable models, with 3D compatibility and robust network streaming, to be offered at not too much more, perhaps $75 or so.
Kitchen and home bargains
Home and garden editor, Davida Hogan, foresees sales on small kitchen appliances, auch as slow cookers and blenders. While these items won't be as deeply discounted as major electronics, about $10-20 will be the typical savings at big box retailers such as Target and Walmart. Around the rest of the home, Hogan predicts that bagless upright vacuum cleaners will also be discounted. Consumers should proceed with caution no matter what house and home item they are looking to purchase on Black Friday since many of these items are on-sale at other points in the year. If you're looking for a vacuum, it's better to buy one that's suited to your needs not just one that's a good price.
The inside scope on digital cameras
According to our consumer electronics editor, Molly McLaughlin, there will be deals on digital cameras this Black Friday, but she warns shoppers to examine the product thoroughly. If the last few holiday seasons are any indication, only the most basic (and poorly-reviewed) cameras will show up in store circulars - and average savings will only be about $10-$20 less than the regular retail price. Luckily, there are affordable digital cameras that are always a good value. Check out our report.
Tablet sales on fire
In terms of tablet computers, Laron predicts that after the recent launch of the Kindle Fire for $199, the game has changed. He sees Black Friday door buster deals on HTC Flyer and other similarly capable Android tablets as low as $199 or even less to stay competitive with the Fire. Discounts under $100 are also a possibility, but these low rates will be on minimally capable tablets. As for the big players, like the iPad2, there will be little in terms of discounts.